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Conjunctivitis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Inflammation of the conjunctiva arising from a broad group of etiologies. Commonly referred to as “pink eye.”


  • Bacterial:
    • Staphylococcus aureus
    • Streptococcus pneumoniae
    • Haemophilus influenzae
    • Gonococcal:
      • Ophthalmic emergency
    • Chlamydia:
      • Transmission occurs via autoinoculation from genital secretions.
      • Often occurs in newborns
  • Viral:
    • Adenovirus most common
    • Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) is caused by adenovirus subtypes.
    • Frequently associated with upper respiratory infections or exposure to someone with a red eye
    • Most commonly referred to as “pink eye”
    • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
    • Recurrent ocular infection occurs in 25% patients within 2 yr.
    • Use of steroids is contraindicated:
      • Allergic
    • Frequent history of allergy, atopy, nasal symptoms
    • Contact related
    • May be due to chemical irritation, hypersensitivity from preservatives, medications, shampoo, chlorine, dust, smoke
    • Pseudomonas commonly implicated organism:
      • May be found in patients using saliva to clean contact lenses

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Conjunctivitis." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307238/all/Conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307238/all/Conjunctivitis. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Conjunctivitis. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307238/all/Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307238/all/Conjunctivitis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Conjunctivitis ID - 307238 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307238/all/Conjunctivitis PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -